Rivian is currently testing its in-house-developed dual-motor electric powertrain in New Zealand on R1S and R1T prototypes, CEO RJ Scaringe has announced.
In a post on Twitter, Scaringe shared three photos of R1S and R1T test vehicles undergoing cold-weather trials, with the caption "winter testing our 'Enduro' dual motor in New Zealand!"
The dual motor powertrain nicknamed "Enduro" was first announced in March 2022, when Rivian also applied hefty price hikes to its R1T/R1S lineup. Unlike the current four-motor powertrain that features motors developed by Bosch and modified by Rivian, the dual motor setup includes motors developed in-house by the EV startup.
Actually, the new drive unit is already fitted to a Rivian production model, the Amazon Electric Delivery Vehicle, which features a single motor powertrain with an Enduro drive unit on the front axle.
In another recent tweet (see it down below), RJ Scaringe talks about the Enduro single motor drive unit with Silva Hiti, who leads Rivian's Electric Power Conversion team based in Carson, California. In the short video, we get to see the Enduro drive unit consisting of the electric motor and inverter mounted on top.
Hiti mentions that one Enduro drive unit provides almost as much power as two drive units from Rivian's existing quad motor powertrain, with the dual motor Enduro system boasting more than 600 horsepower and "a lot of torque." She didn't provide a figure, but in March, Rivian quoted more than 600 pound-feet (812 Newton-meters) of torque.
In the video, RJ Scaringe says he drove some Rivian test vehicles fitted with the Enduro powertrain and described the experience as incredible when it comes to the power delivery, torque and smoothness of the drive unit.
The new Enduro unit will allow Rivian to cut costs and lower the price point of the R1S and R1T, as well as the R2 vehicles coming by mid-decade. This is particularly important at the moment as the new Inflation Reduction Act that recently passed the Senate excludes vehicles priced above $80,000 from any federal tax credit.
When it announced the dual motor configuration in March, Rivian said the R1T would start at $67,500 and the R1S at $70,000. Currently, the quad-motor R1T and R1S start at $79,500 and $84,500, respectively (before destination charge).